Welcome back to James Call: Expert, where today we have some questions! Again from reader "Damian". Who is this mysterious seeker of knowledge???
Who are your top 5 congresspeople?
What a good question! It's pretty easy to answer this one right off the top of my head.
1. Representative Barney Frank
Barney Frank is just fucking AWESOME. He is, without question, one of the funniest dudes in the legislature, period. He has made numerous guest appearances on Fox News, where he gives those fuckers better than he gets. He is loud, brash, consistently funny, and openly gay, with a "Yeah I'm fucking gay, deal with it assholes!!!" attitude, which is, to my heterosexual ears, the best way to go about it. Not only that, he's very progressive from your average American standpoint on fiscal regulation. He gives a bit politically, but he seems to know who the bad guys are and how to corral them up. Along with Sen. Chris Dodd (not one of my faves, but still, not bad), he has produced fairly progressive, strong, proposals for regulation of the financial sector, which have, of course, been watered down by the Obama administration. :(
Conclusion: Barney Frank is like the gay Guy Gardner of Congress. He's funnier than a good number of stand-up comics, and in fact, if he had a stand-up routine, I think I would pay up to $50 to see that shit.
2. Representative Dennis Kucinich
Dennis Kucinich is Our Hero, the only Real progressive in a sea of phonies. Bill Clinton declared the party of FDR dead a long time ago, but Kucinich didn't seem to get the memo. It's easy to figure out what's wrong in American politics, but rarely do we hear articulated what is right. The media decided early on that Kucinich was not a viable Presidential candidate, but go back and watch the primary debates from the past 2 elections and ask yourself which candidate you'd vote for, which one is saying the right thing. Obama may be the official Hope candidate, but Kucinich really is the candidate of someone who wants this country to be the Best it can be, to stand up for liberty and justice for all. To stand up for the working man. Sounds corny, but it's true. It's too bad he's written off without a hearing.
OH, plus, his wife is steaming hot, and like 6 foot something. Whereas Dennis is this real small eccentric. Gives us single idealist males hope for the future.
Conclusion: Kucinich represents the best strand of American political thought, and so therefore, naturally, nobody listens to him.
3. Speaker Nancy Pelosi
Nancy Pelosi is not without the taint of corruption, just like all powerful politicians are. However, she's on our side, and she DOESN'T PUT UP WITH SHIT. While Harry Reid putters around in the Senate, Nancy gets her way every damn time. She is also happy to play the bad guy, which is refreshing, since President Obama (understandably, perhaps) isn't. We'll see how health care reform, cap and trade, and all the other major issues shake down, but if it wasn't for Pelosi, a strong progressive option might not even be on the table.
Recently, Cindy Sheehan, who was an awesome demonstrator and hero of sorts during the Bush years, ran against Pelosi out in California. Look, it's understandable from a purist liberal viewpoint why one would object to Majordomo Pelosi and go with Sheehan, or someone more "clean". But come on, she's a fucking warhammer, and she's on our side on the major issues. I'd never vote for Sheehan over Pelosi, much like I'd never launch a Senatorial campaign against this guy...
4. Senator Chuck Fucking Schumer
Schumer unseated D'Amato, who was a fairly notorious and powerful Republican pig, out here in New York about a decade ago, and he's kicked ass ever since, the Machiavellian way. Naturally he's largely in the pocket of the hedge funds, which is, of course, very depressing. But he has positioned himself, as LBJ did, as the only man who can tell powerful interests how it's going to be, because after all, he is their defender. He represents Wall St. in the Senate, but he's also consistently for notably stronger regulation of finance, to a pretty surprising extent given his financial backing. And when he talks, finance has to listen. He's a strongman and he's got that evil look on his face that makes you think ice runs through his veins and that he wrestles snakes for fun. My kinda guy.
Conclusion: Pelosi and Schumer aren't saints, far from it. But they're badasses who don't put up with any bullshit, typically very canny legislators, and they're on our side. I'd hate to run into either of 'em in an alley.
Senator Bernie Sanders
Finally, I have to go with Bernie Sanders, who is a fucking SOCIALIST. And OUT socialist. Forget being gay, that's like calling yourself a communist!!! He is an independent from Vermont who caucases with the Dems, but in the end analysis, he's a socialist. That's even better than Kucinich! His AFL-CIO rating is 100%, which is a very good thing.
Conclusion: Vermont is the best state in the union.
Who would win in a fight: Lex Luthor, Dick Cheney, or Michael Corleone?
WOW! What a battle. This is a real tough one, so let's assess each of the participants.
Luthor is a genius inventor and a very wily schemer. He has no problem acquiring a bunch of kryponite or even inventing a kryptonite variant of his own, fusing it into some insane battle armor, and going toe-to-toe with Superman or Darkseid or any other insanely powerful beings, yet at the same time, he prefers to destroy his foes through intrigue and wiles.
Still, his ego is his downfall. Luthor, like Doctor Doom and plenty of other villains we can name, wants to concieve THE most treacherous plot imaginable. He wouldn't just walk into a room and shoot Superman dead. No, he'd have to dangle his superiority in front of his victim and gloat for a bit first, leading his plots to become unnecessarily weighed down by convolutions, and thus, vulnerable to exingencies. This is why he's bested time and time again, despite often having basically insurmountable advantages.
Dick Cheney, moreso than Luthor and just as much as Corleone, is willing to bide his time for DECADES to attain his goals. He simply never goes away and never loses sight of his ultimate objectives. And he has a big leg up over any opponents by allying himself with the most powerful facet of modern society - the military/industrial complex. By being on this side of history, he guarantees himself rock-solid support and far more resources than his opponents. Further, he is a saavy wielder of these resources. And his moral clarity and total lack of insight allow him to sleep at night while preparing torture plans during office hours.
Still, Cheney has one critical, Machiavellian weakness: he does not make himself beloved by the public. It must be said he is a plain-dealing villain. The public perception of heroism, which Luthor often has, is a huge boost to the schemer, who is able to operate in the night so much more effectively than someone who actively inspires distrust, as Cheney does, and who seems to actually revel in it. Because of his outwardly evil persona, there will ALWAYS be someone watching Dick Cheney, which limits his operations considerably.
Finally, we come to Michael Corleone, a man who took up the mantle of his father and brought himself, without tears, to a position totally unlike himself, never once looking back. Willing to kill his own brother in cold blood. A man to whom no-one can ever truly be close. Willing to expand his business and his empire using conventions that the old guard would consider shameful, off-limits. And yet, not a man who makes a scene. Corleone tends to pick battles he knows he will win, and he doesn't yap off about it or need public victories to satiate his ego. He walks softly and carries a big stick.
He also eliminates his enemies all at once, not piecemeal.
And that is why MICHAEL CORLEONE is the winner of this epic battle. Because the schemes of Luthor are too convoluted, and the schemes of Cheney are not well-hidden. But Corleone's hand cannot be seen in his actions, and his has no ego to satiate; his ego was killed with his soul years ago, when he adopted his father's role (much to his father's dismay, sadly, which is why the Godfather is such a great flick).
Still: what a fucking battle!!!